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I need to pick between Saxon or CLE math!


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Okay so my soon to be second grader has done Saxon Math K for kinder and Saxon Math 1 for first. We have about ten more lessons in Math 1 left. 

I was thinking about switching because she might like something more colorful. She has done well with Saxon. 

I ordered a light unit and the teachers manual for CLE and she seems to like it she says its more colorful even though its only black green and white. It might also be that the work is easier than what she has been doing. 

I asked her if she got to choose between Saxon or CLE what would she pick and she says she would pick CLE.

I do not want to switch math much at all if I can help it that is why I picked Saxon. I know with CLE I will have to switch to Saxon eventually anyway. 

I was thinking of buying stickers and putting them on the Saxon worksheets to add some color and such. We have moved our Saxon lessons to the whiteboard instead of both of us at a desk and she seemed to like that much better. 

I just dont know what to pick. I like Saxon more because of the extreme script it provides as well as just being used to it. I know CLE is semi scripted too though. I have spent hours and hours scouring forums to see what people use and what people like more and why and I am still just unsure. 

 

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If I had to choose between the two, I'd pick CLE.

We attempted Saxon in our house.  It didn't go well.  5/4 was anxiety inducing in my son, and I don't think I would have done well with the K-3 set.  Nancy Larson's scripts irritate me.  But, there you have the issue: there are different "voices" writing the Saxon program at different stages, so you end up switching if you stay with the same program anyway.  I'm also not a fan of a program that takes ALL the choice away from the teacher.  When they insist every piece is crucial, that every problem has a purpose, it's hard to tailor a program to a kid.  To me, Saxon feels like being a computer teacher: I'm told what to say, what to do, must stick to the script..

CLE is easier to condense and cut out redundant material or stretch it out.  You're not bound by the lesson-a-day approach, but can work for a period of time and set it aside on days where the work is too complicated to do in a reasonable time period.  It's not colorful, but there are pictures and I find the green to be somewhat calming.  The unit approach is good for a kid who looks at a stack of work and groans, because each unit they're holding is only about 25 lessons.

Neither program is my favorite, but Saxon would be my last choice, even though it's a solid, well made program.  It's just not a good fit here.

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19 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

I'm also not a fan of a program that takes ALL the choice away from the teacher.  When they insist every piece is crucial, that every problem has a purpose, it's hard to tailor a program to a kid.  To me, Saxon feels like being a computer teacher: I'm told what to say, what to do, must stick to the script..

Do you think it’s actually the case that every piece is crucial? I’ve never tried Saxon, but I’ve heard people mention that.

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I personally really like CLE and find it easy to teach. I do allow my kids to skip some of the review if it's clear that they have mastered the topic. I regret having moved away from CLE with my kids for greener grass elsewhere and have always come back to it. 

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14 hours ago, scarlethand said:

I know with CLE I will have to switch to Saxon eventually anyway. 

Why?  They have up through Algebra 1, which my daughter did very successfully.  I switched her to CLE in 7th grade and if I could do it over, I would have had her in CLE all along. My son, on the other hand, thrived with Singapore. 

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22 minutes ago, kristin0713 said:

Why?  They have up through Algebra 1, which my daughter did very successfully.  I switched her to CLE in 7th grade and if I could do it over, I would have had her in CLE all along. My son, on the other hand, thrived with Singapore. 

This! I wouldn't base your decision now on something that won't be an issue for 6+ years.  It's a great plan to pick something and stick with it for elementary (and even middle school) math to prevent possibly missing topics when switching publishers, but high school math (Algebra I and up) are typically well-defined courses that can be interchanged between publishers.  It's also really hard to say, looking at a rising 2nd grader now, what their needs/desires will be in high school - if you will have a kid that will thrive best in an outsourced or online class at the high school level, a kid who develops an interest in a STEM field and wants to take more challenging courses, a kid who by high school doesn't need the incremental/spiral format of either CLE or Saxon, etc.  

What was right for my daughter and I in 1st/2nd grade turned out to be very, very different than what she needed in 6th grade and that was again different than what she needed in high school.  She loved a "cozy up and learn with mom" lesson at age 7, and desperately wanted to teach herself and couldn't stand listening to me teach a lesson to her in middle school.  Public school was the right choice for her (and what she wanted) in high school. 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Do you think it’s actually the case that every piece is crucial? I’ve never tried Saxon, but I’ve heard people mention that.

I think they designed it so that all the pieces integrate together to create a cohesive program.

I also think if I were to try it again, it would require me to go through the problem sets in the upper maths and work too hard to identify redundant practice in order to shorten it, or lengthen it for sticky concepts.

If I were using the lower sets, I'd cannibalize it so hard. 😄 Scripts would be tossed.  Objectives would be noted.  Fact practice would be interactive and untimed. I'd only take the parts needed and do calendar/time at a separate point in our day.

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3 hours ago, kirstenhill said:

This! I wouldn't base your decision now on something that won't be an issue for 6+ years.  It's a great plan to pick something and stick with it for elementary (and even middle school) math to prevent possibly missing topics when switching publishers, but high school math (Algebra I and up) are typically well-defined courses that can be interchanged between publishers.  It's also really hard to say, looking at a rising 2nd grader now, what their needs/desires will be in high school - if you will have a kid that will thrive best in an outsourced or online class at the high school level, a kid who develops an interest in a STEM field and wants to take more challenging courses, a kid who by high school doesn't need the incremental/spiral format of either CLE or Saxon, etc.  

What was right for my daughter and I in 1st/2nd grade turned out to be very, very different than what she needed in 6th grade and that was again different than what she needed in high school.  She loved a "cozy up and learn with mom" lesson at age 7, and desperately wanted to teach herself and couldn't stand listening to me teach a lesson to her in middle school.  Public school was the right choice for her (and what she wanted) in high school. 

Thanks for your reply. So would it be safe to say to try and stick with a program for elementary, a program for middle, and then a program for high school? I have been reading that Saxon teaches such a different approach that its hard to move into but others say its fine. I think i read so many forum posts and so many opinions Im confusing myself and just cannot seem to make a decision. I just found rod and staff math last night that i am told is mastery with review. I like the traditional math aspect. 

I know its great that homeschoolers have so many choices in programs.....but it also boggles my mind that their is so much to pick from!!

Asian math interests me but i dont know if i can do just an asian program, maybe i will supplement with a challenging word problem book or something like that.

So what factors for elementary math should i look for? I guess something easy for me to teach, makes my child solid in arithmetic and math facts, and lets my child like math. I cant really tell if a program will fit unless we try it so I guess I will just have to try them out to see what fits. I tried saxon k and 1, I have some light units for CLE, and I am going to buy the teachers manual and one workbook for rod and staff i suppose and try them out i guess. So maybe take a month and try CLE, take a month and try rod and staff, and then evaluate at that point. If we need to move back to saxon then we can jump in at saxon 2 and school through next summer to finish. 

Thanks again!

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4 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

If I had to choose between the two, I'd pick CLE.

We attempted Saxon in our house.  It didn't go well.  5/4 was anxiety inducing in my son, and I don't think I would have done well with the K-3 set.  Nancy Larson's scripts irritate me.  But, there you have the issue: there are different "voices" writing the Saxon program at different stages, so you end up switching if you stay with the same program anyway.  I'm also not a fan of a program that takes ALL the choice away from the teacher.  When they insist every piece is crucial, that every problem has a purpose, it's hard to tailor a program to a kid.  To me, Saxon feels like being a computer teacher: I'm told what to say, what to do, must stick to the script..

CLE is easier to condense and cut out redundant material or stretch it out.  You're not bound by the lesson-a-day approach, but can work for a period of time and set it aside on days where the work is too complicated to do in a reasonable time period.  It's not colorful, but there are pictures and I find the green to be somewhat calming.  The unit approach is good for a kid who looks at a stack of work and groans, because each unit they're holding is only about 25 lessons.

Neither program is my favorite, but Saxon would be my last choice, even though it's a solid, well made program.  It's just not a good fit here.

I hear you, a saxon lesson can take quite long, especially that darn meeting every day. When we tried a light unit for CLE i just set a timer for 30 minutes and we got through 2 lessons in CLE. 

And i think my child might like the tiny workbook aspect too.

Rod and staff is now intriguing me after I stayed up last night researching....oh decisions lol

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4 hours ago, Insertcreativenamehere said:

I personally really like CLE and find it easy to teach. I do allow my kids to skip some of the review if it's clear that they have mastered the topic. I regret having moved away from CLE with my kids for greener grass elsewhere and have always come back to it. 

i know, i need to stop getting catalogs in the mail and researching curriculum choices! Lol

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3 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

Why?  They have up through Algebra 1, which my daughter did very successfully.  I switched her to CLE in 7th grade and if I could do it over, I would have had her in CLE all along. My son, on the other hand, thrived with Singapore. 

What do you switch to after algebra 1?

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3 minutes ago, scarlethand said:

What do you switch to after algebra 1?

CLE does sell a geometry program but it is not their program.  I think it is by LifePac.  When I spoke with them a couple of years ago, they said they were field testing geometry.  Really you can switch to any geometry program in high school.  I'm putting my kids in online classes next year, so we are going a different route altogether.  

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1 hour ago, scarlethand said:

Thanks for your reply. So would it be safe to say to try and stick with a program for elementary, a program for middle, and then a program for high school? I have been reading that Saxon teaches such a different approach that its hard to move into but others say its fine. I think i read so many forum posts and so many opinions Im confusing myself and just cannot seem to make a decision. I just found rod and staff math last night that i am told is mastery with review. I like the traditional math aspect. 

I know its great that homeschoolers have so many choices in programs.....but it also boggles my mind that their is so much to pick from!!

Asian math interests me but i dont know if i can do just an asian program, maybe i will supplement with a challenging word problem book or something like that.

So what factors for elementary math should i look for? I guess something easy for me to teach, makes my child solid in arithmetic and math facts, and lets my child like math. I cant really tell if a program will fit unless we try it so I guess I will just have to try them out to see what fits. I tried saxon k and 1, I have some light units for CLE, and I am going to buy the teachers manual and one workbook for rod and staff i suppose and try them out i guess. So maybe take a month and try CLE, take a month and try rod and staff, and then evaluate at that point. If we need to move back to saxon then we can jump in at saxon 2 and school through next summer to finish. 

Thanks again!

I've never used Saxon as a teacher (I attended a school that used it one year myself as a student...6th grade maybe?), but I can't imagine that it would be difficult to switch to something else at least when you are at a natural point to make a change (before Pre-Algebra, after Algebra 1, etc).   It might be a bit more difficult to switch to something entirely different (Singapore, Art of Problem Solving) because the student wouldn't have the same level of preparation.  But in the world of more traditional programs, typical high school math textbooks, etc I don't think the actual mathematical methods that Saxon teaches are are all THAT different from other programs. 

I think having a program YOU are comfortable with in elementary school is most important, as long as you are taking your child somewhat into consideration.  My DD would not have done well with the textbook based Saxon levels (starting 5/4) because the amount of writing would have been too much for her at that point.  My boys would have been bored to tears with Saxon, but I knew they were mathematically gifted even as Preschoolers/Kindergartners so it was obvious I needed to chose something that wouldn't hold them back from rapid progress.  Then in middle school/high school I think the needs and desires of the student are of increasing importance IMHO, as students are usually more and more independent with math and know themselves well enough to know what works for them.  An early elementary student, if they are making a decision for themselves, might just pick whatever had the best pictures or whatever they thought looked "more fun".  

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1 hour ago, scarlethand said:

So what factors for elementary math should i look for? I guess something easy for me to teach, makes my child solid in arithmetic and math facts, and lets my child like math

I think you should make sure all the concepts are solid for you yourself. After that, find something that doesn't annoy you 😉 . 

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2 hours ago, kirstenhill said:

I've never used Saxon as a teacher (I attended a school that used it one year myself as a student...6th grade maybe?), but I can't imagine that it would be difficult to switch to something else at least when you are at a natural point to make a change (before Pre-Algebra, after Algebra 1, etc).   It might be a bit more difficult to switch to something entirely different (Singapore, Art of Problem Solving) because the student wouldn't have the same level of preparation.  But in the world of more traditional programs, typical high school math textbooks, etc I don't think the actual mathematical methods that Saxon teaches are are all THAT different from other programs. 

I think having a program YOU are comfortable with in elementary school is most important, as long as you are taking your child somewhat into consideration.  My DD would not have done well with the textbook based Saxon levels (starting 5/4) because the amount of writing would have been too much for her at that point.  My boys would have been bored to tears with Saxon, but I knew they were mathematically gifted even as Preschoolers/Kindergartners so it was obvious I needed to chose something that wouldn't hold them back from rapid progress.  Then in middle school/high school I think the needs and desires of the student are of increasing importance IMHO, as students are usually more and more independent with math and know themselves well enough to know what works for them.  An early elementary student, if they are making a decision for themselves, might just pick whatever had the best pictures or whatever they thought looked "more fun".  

That definitely makes sense and is good advice. Pick a program I can teach well in elementary and then for middle and high take into consideration what the child needs at that point.

You have been very helpful, thanks a lot!

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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think you should make sure all the concepts are solid for you yourself. After that, find something that doesn't annoy you 😉 . 

Yes exactly, I feel comfortable with math but I am not the type of person that could just wing it in elementary without a curriculum. I have heard people say they do, wish I could be more like that, but I just am not that type of person.

And i really want to make sure there are no gaps at all.

I felt comfortable teaching saxon so far so I may just stick with that. My daughter did well with it. I think i may do the morning meeting as our first thing for the day. Then jump to another subject and later do the lesson and one worksheet. Then at the end of the day she can finish the other worksheet. 

If she doesnt like black and white worksheets, oh well. Maybe ill entice her with more art projects and fun things throughout the day after she does her black and white sheet lol. 

I like the script aspect, I didnt read it word for word, but it kept me on track with what to do next. 

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I'm just starting the homeschooling journey and have narrowed the choices to either Saxon or Singapore, so I've been searching through old threads here. It's tougher than I thought!

 

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23 hours ago, scarlethand said:

 

If she doesnt like black and white worksheets, oh well. Maybe ill entice her with more art projects and fun things throughout the day after she does her black and white sheet lol. 

To jazz it up our b&w curric, I sometimes copy worksheets onto astrobrights paper, add a washi tape border, or outline the pictures in marker. I don’t do it everyday but it’s nice to add a little flair occasionally. My son is really into using erasable colored pencils on his work too. 

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On 6/29/2021 at 12:27 PM, scarlethand said:

 

Asian math interests me but i dont know if i can do just an asian program, maybe i will supplement with a challenging word problem book or something like that.

CLE actually introduces things in much the same way as Singapore, just at a somewhat gentler pace. I taught from both when I had a cottage school.

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3 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

CLE actually introduces things in much the same way as Singapore, just at a somewhat gentler pace. I taught from both when I had a cottage school.

Thats good to know, I had no idea! Thanks for your reply

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4 hours ago, AnneGG said:

To jazz it up our b&w curric, I sometimes copy worksheets onto astrobrights paper, add a washi tape border, or outline the pictures in marker. I don’t do it everyday but it’s nice to add a little flair occasionally. My son is really into using erasable colored pencils on his work too. 

That is a fantastic idea! I love it! I am going to try this!

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